Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Securing post earrings - how I do it

Although I've never had a problem with backs coming off of post earrings, I know cyanoacrylate
 glue (Super Glue) can break down with time. So I decided to start covering/securing posts by enclosing them with another thin layer of polymer clay. This is the process I've come up with. 
(Sorry for the blue photos - dang this winter light!) 

First, I glue the earring back in place with cyanoacrylate glue and allow to dry. This will hold the post in place still while I work.

My materials are...the earrings, small piece of scrap computer paper, small lump of clay the same color as the back of the earrings, tiny needle, tiniest circle Kemper cutter, blade and Genesis medium (you could use liquid polymer but the Genesis is thicker and does ooze as much). 

 I roll the clay very thin (second to the thinest setting on my pasta machine) and cut 2 circles with the Kemper cutter. 

I put a small dot, just as a marker really, in each of the circles of clay using a small needle. And I put a hole in the paper using the same needle. 

Next I put a thin layer of Genesis medium on the back of the earring.

 I put one of the circles onto the earring back and push it all the way down to the base. 

Then I put the paper right over the post, all the way down to the clay circle. I've shown it here in one hand but I actually use both hands, pinching with thumb and forefinger, pushing the paper down, turning the earring as I go, making the clay circle flatter and flatter to the earring. Pull the paper up, check the clay, push flatter if you need to. Until it looks like this... 

This is what they look like when they're finished, just about perfect circles, no texture, smooth against the ear. (I've already darkened the earrings so that the circles that I just made show up but normally I would do my finial finish with acrylic after they are cured.) It really doesn't take very long at all to do this extra step and I think it will increase the strength and longevity of my earrings going forward.

And I'm all about going forward.  


  1. Well I think that is just brilliant! A beautiful finished look. Gorgeous!

  2. I've been doing a similar version of earring backing for a while....have had bad experiences with super glue since my glass days and I don't trust it all! I usually end up texturing and coloring the back a little to camouflage the 'burial' of the post, because I'm not as tidy as you....
    I think the possibility of doing finishes like this is one of the great things about working in polymer!

  3. What a good idea! I have to keep it in my mind.

  4. Thanks for sharing this clever hint!

  5. I do a similar technique, except that I cover the entire back of the earring and texture it with an irregular texture that I punch a hole in.

  6. Oh thank you! I have been struggling with my glue not being strong enough and earrings breaking off, as well as the clay pieces out of the ring bases. This solves the earring question :-)

  7. Great idea Genevieve and so well explained. Thank you. Wendy

  8. always a better way to do something---kudos for your generosity!

  9. This is such a good tip...but could you tell me which type of Genesis medium did you use - the thickening medium or the thinning medium? Thanks! Diane

    1. I purchased the Thick medium ( although I was at a Kathleen Dustin class recently and borrowed someone else's and I think it might have been Thin). The Thick is nice, its like a Vaseline consistency so it stays where you put it. It seems expensive but a little tub will last a very long time. This is where I bought it...